Let me address some of the Deandre Ayton rumors. The Suns have not been willing to move DA all summer because they think he fits well and there were no offers that would change that. If Nurkic was on the table I would be surprised if the Suns didn't look into it because an
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) September 21, 2023
In a hypothetical trade for Nurkic, the Suns could trade starting center Deandre Ayton.
“(Suns coach Frank) Vogel needs a defensive minded Center to build his defense around and Nurkic does fit that mold,” Gambadoro wrote. “This would be contingent on a Lillard trade and I [do expect] that to happen very soon.”
Nurkic is 29 years old and last season averaged 13.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Ayton, who is one of the most polarizing players on the Suns, averaged 18.0 points on 58.9 percent shooting and 10.0 rebounds per game in the 2022-23 season.
Deandre Ayton has been praised by Vogel, who said previously he plans to restore the 25-year-old to an All-Star caliber player. Vogel has said his defense starts with the center position and a player who can defend at the basket.
“I think he can be one of the best centers in the league,” Vogel said.
The Suns need a center who will buy in to rebounding and defense. Ayton has struggled with his motor and the Suns could see Nurkic as a player with a better fit potential next to Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.
“If Nurkic was on the table I would be surprised if the Suns didn't look into it because an argument could be made that (it) is an upgrade for Phx.”
Gambadoro also said he expected Lillard to be traded by Friday.